Snake Hill

Dear Editor:
Thanks for a really great article, Creepy History of Snake Hill. However I think the title could have been a less tabloid-ish Fascinating History… as it was a fascinating history. It reminded me of my father having told me how a family member spent time convalescing in the Tuberculosis Hospital.
The only mistake I saw in the article was the reference to it having been partially excavated in the 1960s to ready for sections of the New Jersey Turnpike. That was done in the late 1940s as the turnpike was built circa 1950.
The confusion in this matter is that it was sadly completely and utterly quarried in the mid to late 1960 by the county to be sold as trap rock. I am not certain about the reason the county chose that particular destiny for what was a geological oddity. That item in and of itself might make for some good reporting.
Snake Hill was in fact born as a volcano at a point in the early history of earth. It was the site where some years ago a man whose name escapes me at the moment and who was a geology devotee unearthed the only known specimen of a mineral which I believe was later named by him, Secaucusite.
It is believed by some to have been, as viewed from the rail line beyond the river and looking east across the marsh at that then massive rock, the inspiration for the Prudential Insurance Company logo “The Rock.”
It had a starring role in the 1960s hit T.V. show starring Marlo Thomas “That Girl” as the opening scene shows the point of view of a train speeding down the track approaching the area of the current Secaucus Junction rail station with Snake Hill briefly in full view. Its remnants are also currently briefly seen in a television commercial as viewed from Belleville Turnpike.
Yes, Snake Hill does not have a “Creepy” history, but rather an important and fascinating history.

Michael Seyfried

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